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Computer Does Not Detect My Pen Drive when a VMware Virtual Machine Is On

This Tutorial addresses:

VMware Workstation is software that allows you to create virtual machines in your system. While using VMware i.e. when a virtual machine is running, many times you might face the situations where when you connect your pen drive to the USB port of the host computer (physical machine), Windows does not detect it. Same is the case when any other such device is connected to the computer.

The reason behind this problem is that when VMware Workstation is installed and virtual machine runs in the background, the VM automatically maps itself with the USB port of the host PC. This enables the VMware Virtual machine to capture the USB devices as soon as they are connected to the physical machine.

This issue can be resolved by unmapping virtual machine from the USB ports of the physical computer. Since this process is VM specific, the configuration is to be made on each machine individually.

Steps to be followed to unmap USB detection from virtual machine are given below:

  1. Log on to the computer using appropriate username and password.
  2. Run the VMware Workstation application by double-clicking its icon.

  3. Once initialized, click to select the target VM tab from the right pane.
  4. Make sure that the virtual machine is powered off.

  5. On the VM’s tab, click the Edit virtual machine settings option.

  6. On the opened box, make sure that the Hardware tab is selected.
  7. From the displayed list in the left, click to select the USB Controller option.
  8. From the right pane, uncheck the Automatically connect new USB device option
  9. Click OK to save the changes.

  10. Try starting the virtual machine.
  11. Once started, connect any USB device (preferably a USB pen drive) to the USB port of the physical computer.
  12. The host operating system (physical computer) should now be able to detect the USB pen drive, even when the virtual machine is running.


  • Once this is done, all the USB devices connected to the computer from then onwards will be accessed from the host system and not the virtual machine.

    Note: Before doing this, do make sure that your guest system is turned off. In case it is on, you will not be able to unmap the USB detection from virtual machine(s). VMware provides most editing option only when the VM is powered off.
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